One of my favorite tools in my studio is the paint brush. i have mason jars and repurposed tubs full of brushes. Long & Short handles. Synthetic & Natural Bristles/Hairs. Filbert, Rounds, Flats, Brights. The arts and crafts market is flooded with various brushes for every type of project. Today i want to cover just some of the basics of brushes.
- bristles/hairs: these vary greatly depending on the type of art. They can be natural, synthetic, or a combination of both. The hairs can be broken down further into the toe (end of the bristles), belly (the fattest part of the brush), and the heel (the part that is attached to the ferrule). i have brushes with both natural hairs & synthetic hairs.
- ferrule: ("small bracelet") is the cap, usually metal, that strengthens the handle and holds the hairs in place. A good ferrule shouldn't rust or come loose.
- handle: it's frequently made of wood, sometimes coated wood, but can come in bamboo or plastic/acrylic. Short handles are generally used for detail work while long handles are used for canvases. Either way, you want to find one that feels comfortable in your hand.
- crimp: the part of the ferrule that secures it to the handle along with the glue
- size: not every manufacturer puts the size on the brush but i really like it when they do. Another thing to note is that these sizes aren't necessarily the same from manufacturer to manufacturer. They can vary.
- company name &/or designer series: you may see just the company name, the designer series, or both. For example i have some brushes that read "Catalyst by Princeton." This lets me know the specific line with a company that has many different lines.
- shape/style: again not every manufacturer puts this on the handle. You can usually tell the style of the brush by looking at the hairs. We will get more into the shapes/styles of the brush on another post.
We will take a deeper looking into paint brushes in upcoming blog posts!